Google Adsense is good as the steady, consistent earner but that’s boring! I want the thrill of the big sale… a dollar a day isn’t going to cut it anymore and that’s is where affiliate programs come in.
If you can find programs to match your target audience then these babies can pay off big time. Yesterday I sold a travel insurance policy through one of my sites that earned me nearly $90 in one go. That’s a lot of Adsense clicks let me tell you.
While the potential for huge earnings is there, finding the right programs and setting them up takes a lot longer than slapping some Adsense code on a few pages. Unfortunately I let my laziness get the better of me and put off exploring affliate programs properly until early 2007. Up to that point my only affiliate was through Hostelworld and I was lucky if I earned $5/month from bookings. Actually, most of the bookings from my site were my own!
Spurred on my other people’s remarkable stories of affiliate success, I decided to put more effort into this area. It’s a bit of a half-assed effort with only a handful of affiliates, but it’s a start. Here are the companies I use:
There are more out there like Commission Junction plus programs through individual companies, but other things like writing and designing new websites always seem to get my time ahead of scouring the net for products to sell.
Affiliate Sales Earnings
Affiliate sales earned me just over $500 last month but most of that came from one company. If I could spread the risk around a bit by getting some other programs up to speed then I’d feel a bit more confident. I really should put more time and effort into developing this area so it’s something I’ll be working on.
Finding good affiliate programs takes time, like I mentioned, and can involved sifting through a lot of unrelated affiliates on each of the networks (Trade Doubler, Clix Galore etc.) until you find a few that are good matches to your content and target market. Once you find one that pays off though it’s worth it.
I like to cheat sometimes and head over to my competition’s websites to see which programs they’re using. Sometimes you can’t tell they’re using an affiliate program because they use tricks to hide the affiliate links that show up in the bottom left hand corner of your browser (I’ll show you how to do this in a later post) but viewing the source code will reveal all. Sneaky, yes, but a huge time saver too.
I’m still learning by trial and error and really need to set more time aside for finding affiliates… damn this laziness of mine! I’ll keep you posted on my progress though once I get off my arse and get to work.